By Rehan Iqbal
Alkaline water can be a contentious topic. There are many who rave about the positive health benefits associated with drinking alkaline water. While others believe this is just a passing craze. It has become quite apparent over the past few years that an increasing number of people are recognizing the health benefits of drinking alkaline water. There must be something to it.
It’s time to separate fact from fiction. Is alkaline water good for you? How much alkaline water should you drink? Can you drink too much alkaline water? Can alkaline water be bad for you?
I wanted to find some answers. When researching alkaline water, I’ve ignored the popular celebrity gossip sites and looked for scientifically substantiated information. Most importantly, I wanted to understand it’s benefits, possible dangers, and how it should be consumed.
I’ve uncovered a wealth of valuable information on the topic. This is where you’ll find the real facts about alkaline water.
How Much Alkaline Water Should you Drink Per Day?
Regardless of what type of water you choose to drink, hydration is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It is recommended that we drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to remain adequately hydrated.
The 8 to 12 glasses of water per day rule applies to alkaline water too. That’s about 2 – 3 liters per day or roughly 78 to 100 ounces.
If you’re considering alkaline water as part of your diet for the first time, it is recommended that you start off slowly. It may take some time for your body to adjust to the lower acidity.
People new to alkaline water should start by drinking about 4 glasses of alkaline water per day and the rest normal tap or bottled water. You can increase your intake of alkaline water gradually as your body becomes accustomed to the detox and other benefits that the water provides.
Since it lowers acid levels in the body, it’s not recommended that you drink alkaline water with meals or directly after eating. Your body needs acid to digest the food you consume.
Can you Drink too Much Alkaline Water?
I guess it’s true, you can get too much of a good thing.
Generally, drinking alkaline water is considered to be a health benefit. Even those who are not entirely convinced about the health benefits of drinking alkaline water, will concede that it is not actually bad for you.
However, there is a limit to how much alkaline water you should drink in a day. Or any water, for that matter. If you stick to the recommended 78 – 100 ounces per day, you will be fine. Some people, especially athletes, can end up consuming more than this amount. Too much water can be hazardous to your health. While rare, consuming too much alkaline water can cause complications that are not generally associated with regular water.
Overhydration occurs when we drink more water than our kidneys are able to process. The water is not expelled through our urine and collects in the body. One of the main problems with overhydration is the dilution of salts and electrolytes. There is an imbalance of fluids in relation to these vital nutrients.
Overhydration symptoms include:
If left untreated, overhydration will lead to insufficient sodium in your blood. Sodium deficiency can have serious health implications:
I should reemphasize that overhydration is not unique to drinking alkaline water. Drinking too much water, in general, can lead to any of the health issues that I’ve just mentioned.
Apart from the risk of overhydration, there are some health risks that could result from drinking too much alkaline water.
While it’s rare, you should be aware of the dangers that can result from drinking too much alkaline water.
Later, when we discuss the benefits of drinking alkaline water, you will discover why reducing acid in the body can be good for you. However, too much alkalinity, resulting from overconsumption of alkaline water can be harmful.
Increased alkalinity in the stomach can reduce normal functions that kill bacteria and reduce the presence of unwanted pathogens in the blood.
Metabolic alkalosis is a condition resulting from a disruption in the body PH, when the blood is too alkaline. It can also reduce the amount of calcium in the blood, leading to bone deterioration. Symptoms of metabolic alkalosis include:
A healthy consumption of alkaline water will not affect the body PH to such to extent that it will cause these negative effects. In general, reducing acidity in the body is a good thing. Maintaining a healthy intake of alkaline water, as suggested, should only improve your health.
Health Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water
I’ve read some wild claims that alkaline water is some sort of miracle worker and can even cure cancer. While there is some evidence that reducing acid in the body can lower your risk of contracting certain types of cancer, there really is no scientific evidence to back these claims.
When researching the benefits of drinking alkaline water, my aim has been to separate myth from fact.
When it comes down to it, there isn’t too much scientific research that can either prove or disprove the benefits associated with drinking alkaline water. There is, however, some credible scientific evidence of these benefits. In general, an alkaline diet has been recommended for several conditions, like acid reflux. Naturally, alkaline water is a recommended part of an alkaline diet.
A study conducted in 2012 set out to investigate the effect of alkaline water (PH 8.8) has on pepsin. Pepsin is an acidic enzyme in the stomach and blood that digests proteins. Too much pepsin in the stomach pushes up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux.
By comparing one group, drinking 8.8 PH bottled alkaline water to another, drinking regular bottled water, the study concluded that 8.8 PH water irreversibly inactivated human pepsin. In other words, alkaline water is effective in reducing acid reflux.
A recent study compared the effect of alkaline water on blood viscosity in over 100 athletes. Blood viscosity is thickness of our blood. The study concluded that the athletes that drank alkaline water whilst alkaline has a reduced blood viscosity of 6.3% on average.
This result is significant as it proves that drinking alkaline water lowers blood pressure and helps prevent strokes.
While not conclusive several medical studies have suggested that alkaline water is also beneficial to people with diabetes and high cholesterol.
Alkaline water is known to be an excellent detoxifying agent, flushing toxins from the body through the kidneys. This should also lead to weight loss in obese people.
There are a bunch of other benefits that have not yet been proven but may have some merit. Some doctors and people who regularly drink alkaline water have observed the following benefits:
Despite those who want to contradict the health benefits of drinking alkaline water, there is enough scientific evidence to prove some real advantages. There is no evidence suggesting that alkaline water is bad for you, provided you don’t overdo it. If you drink the recommended amount of alkaline water (8 – 12 glasses per day) you should only benefit from doing so.
Where Can You Get Alkaline Water
You can buy bottled water at most convenience stores and supermarkets. Typically, bottled alkaline water has a PH of 8.5 or more. Anything above PH7 is technically alkaline.
While buying water is quite easy and convenient, it is expensive. Another is issue is the environmental impact of all those plastic bottles ending up in landfill sites. You can avoid using bottled water entirely.
If you’re serious about drinking alkaline water every day, you should consider an alkaline water filter. You can buy relatively inexpensive water filters that adjust the PH of your water to make it alkaline. These filters will have many more benefits. Generally, most water filters remove toxic chlorine and toxic chemicals from the water. There are plenty of options for specialized water filters that can do everything from removing all known toxins and heavy metals to bacteria and pathogens.
Alkaline water filters come all types, shapes, and sizes, from cost effective countertop filters to more expensive whole house water filtration systems. Do some research and check your options. You should be able to find the ideal alkaline water filter at a price that suits your budget. You can find any number of filter combinations, that not only produce high PH alkaline water, but have many other health benefits.
You will be saving a load of cash and it’s really convenient. You can have healthy alkaline water available at home all day, every day. When you go out, you can use an environmentally friendly, reusable bottle to take with you to work, the gym, or when you go for a run.
I’m sure the debate about the pros and cons of drinking alkaline water will rage on for long time to come. It’s likely that we will see more scientific research into the matter in the coming years. Given the popularity and attention alkaline water has garnered, it seems like it’s here to stay.
We already know that alkaline water lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of a stroke. It is good for detox which has all sorts of additional benefits, like healthier skin and weight loss. We also know that it is good for people with acid reflux.
While it’s debatable, there is enough evidence to suggest that alkaline water is beneficial to people with diabetes and high cholesterol. It may also increase our resistance to cancer.
In the end, if you drink around 80 to 100 ounces of alkaline water per day, you should experience some significant health benefits. It is important not to drink much more than the recommended amount of water as this can lead to overhydration. Too much alkaline water may also lead other issues relating to high PH in the body.
The risks relating to alkaline water are minimal. If you keep to the recommended intake you will only experience the positive effects which are quite numerous. I’m sure more medical benefits will be proven as research increases.
I would say everyone can benefit from drinking alkaline water, regardless of your age or health status. People with conditions like acid reflux and high blood pressure have even more reason to choose alkaline water over any other.
The most cost-effective and convenient way to obtain alkaline water is to use an alkaline water filter. If you shop around, you can find a good quality filter that you can use at home, completely hassle-free. There are a wide variety of products available, some are really cheap.
If you do your research properly, you will find the best alkaline water filter for your needs at a price that you can easily afford. You will also reap many more benefits, like clean pure water, free of harmful toxins. The water looks good and tastes great. Not to mention, a long list of health benefits.
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